10 Reasons to Add User-Generated Content to Your Digital Media Strategy

Now, more than ever before, consumers are looking to their fellow peers to inform their purchasing decisions. Gone are the days of picture-perfect stock catalog shots — replaced by authentic, relatable content. Increasingly, brands are utilizing  User-Generated Content (UGC) in marketing strategies to better relate to their audiences. If you’re not using UGC, you’re missing out on key opportunities to allow customers to both act as brand advocates for you and create unique content promoting your product or service. Still not convinced that UCG is the way to go? Read on to learn about why you should include User-Generated Content in your marketing strategy.

UGC is Proven to Create Better Conversions

According to Salesforce data, visitors to websites that include UGC galleries spend 90% more time on the site than on those that don’t include ACG. Ads with UGC generate five times greater click-through rates, and email campaigns utilizing UGC generate a 73% increase in email click-through rates. In addition to conversions, sales get a boost too. 25% of consumers have purchased a product after seeing it featured in a user-generated image.

UGC Leads to Increased Social Media Engagement

The greatest strategy for positive engagement? You guessed it — UGC. According to studies by Mavrck, user created and distributed content boosts engagement by an average of 6.9 times.

UGC Provides Valuable Audience Insights

User-Generated Content offers invaluable data by helping you to better understand how your audience is using a product or service, why they are engaging, and to use as a gauge of the overall sentiment behind your brand. With immediate access to unique perspectives on your brand from varying points of view, the opportunity to analyze audience content can provide value comparable to that of a focus group.

UGC Keeps Content Interesting

It’s been said that repetition is the death of art. The same could be said of brand content. When consumers are seeing the same content over and over, they become bored and continue onto the next interesting thing. UGC gives you a fresh perspective on content ideas while encouraging new audiences to join the fun and encouraging loyal users to stay engaged.

UGC is Cost Effective

In general, it’s far less expensive to source dozens of pieces of content from your audience than it would be to create even one piece of unique content in-house. Although your strategy should include a mix of custom and user content, mixing in some UGC can lower your overall marketing costs because your customers are creating the assets for you.

UGC Provides SEO Perks

There are many ways UGC can aid you in your SEO efforts. UGC can do anything to help these efforts from bolstering search results on social media, to improving SEO rankings when user blog content contains backlinks to your website, to improving search results on dozens of platforms through positive customer reviews.

UGC Promotes A Sense of Reliability

We’ve all heard that honesty is the best policy, and there is data to back up the fact that your customers respond more positively when they feel as though their favorite brands are following this golden rule. As a whole, customers are more likely to trust UGC over branded content for its honesty, lack of a blatant, in-your-face sales pitch, and its overall humanity. According to Reevoo, 70% of people trust images taken by ‘people like them’ over brand images, and 61% of people would be more likely to engage with an advertisement if it contained user generated content.

UGC Rewards Your Customers

UGC is a win-win. You’re no longer marketing AT your audience, you’re marketing WITH them. When you have clearly curated content provided by your real-life valued customers, it puts them in the spotlight and highlights their efforts, encouraging them to post even more.

UGC converts Your Audience Into Your Evangelists

UGC not only promotes brand advocacy, but unlocks your customers’ potential to be your best salespeople. User generated images that support your product are like a free advertising campaign, that can be even more powerful than a paid one.

UGC Signals that Your Brand Values Community Connectivity

Let’s be honest — everyone LOVES to share their opinions. Companies that promote and use UGC tend to appear more open to conversation and connectivity, allowing your customers to feel heard. As a consumer, it’s nice to hear from a “real” person — someone who isn’t on your payroll,  but a person who wants to share how excited they are about a product they’ve tried or a place they’ve been and want to tell others about it. That’s exactly kind of emotion you want your brand to generate —  a feeling of excitement, passion, and connectivity. All of this word-of-mouth sharing organically creates an online community of fans.

UGC empowers companies to reach consumers in a fundamentally new way. With the right strategy, all kinds of brands can engage customers with a fresh sense of authenticity. By doing so, companies can work with consumers to drive an outcome of real, positive business results.

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